Electorate less enthusiastic than expected
A little more than half the eligible voters (56%) came out make their choice
|1,105 candidates were elected: Dasho Kunzang Wangdi formally declares the LG elections results yesterday|
LG ELECTIONS 29 June, 2011 – The local government election on Monday saw 194,357 of the 347,938 registered voters turn up to vote for their local leaders. This is a 56 percent turnout, much lower than many expected.
Considering that a majority of Bhutanese live in the villages, many expected that they would come out to choose the leaders, who would serve them in a new democratic set up.
The election commission of Bhutan announced that the election was successfully conducted, but the success would have been grand if more people came out to participate. The question many ask is what kept almost half the voters from going to the polls. While there is no concrete answer, many say there was fatigue. The build up to the election was surrounded with controversies, problems especially created by the “cooling period” and the one-year mitsi rule revocation. The election also coincided with the busiest season in a farmer’s work cycle, paddy transplantation; while the onset of monsoon may have played its own role in discouraging voters from travelling to their villages.
|358 Vacant tshogpa posts9 Vacant thromde thuemi
July 7 Last day of election petition
Despite this, 1,105 candidates were elected on Monday, June 27, which means that the 205 gewogs in the 20 dzongkhags now have an elected gewog tshogde and dzongkhag tshogdu each. The election also saw seven of the 16 dzongkhags elect their thuemi (representative) to the dzongkhag tshogdu, while four of the vacant thromde tshogpa demkhongs in Thimphu and Phuentsholing were filled.
“The governance structure under the Constitution will now be complete with the critical component, the local governments, in place,” said chief election commissioner, Dasho Kunzang Wangdi last morning, while officially announcing the results of the LG election, 2011.
Dasho Kunzang Wangdi said the 56 percent was a good turnout to rejoice and congratulated voters, who cut short cordyceps collection, postponed paddy transplantation and undertook journeys back to the place of civil registration. He said that past experience in conducting elections proved most useful, even if the logistical and organisational arrangements were complex and demanding, especially with the decision to hold the election on the same day throughout the country.
Only about 135 voters in 11 dzongkhags were affected because of some printing errors in the voter photo identity card and the voter list.
The local government, however, still has 370 posts, including two vacant gup posts – one in Punakha because of a tie on the poll day and the other i Mongar. Election of these posts would be “conducted in due course of time,” said the CEC. Dasho Kunzang Wangdi thanked all the people involved in conducting the local government election.